MANILA -- The House committee on suffrage and electoral reforms dismissed and archived on Wednesday all bills and resolutions of the minority bloc to suspend the village and youth council elections in October.

Voting 22-15, committee members shelved all the pending bills, abandoning efforts to defer the village polls as sought by some lawmakers.

Post your reaction to the Manila hostage crisis

During the committee hearing Wednesday, at least 22 lawmakers voted in favor of the motion of Valenzuela City Rep. Magtanggol Gunigundo "to lay on the table all pending bills and resolutions calling for the postponement of barangay and SK elections."

In effect, House committee chair and Cavite Rep. Elpidio Barzaga said, this would mean suspension of deliberations on the measures indefinitely and that election of barangay and SK officials will push through as scheduled on October 25, this year.

House Deputy Majority Leader and Iloilo Rep. Janette Garin also said there was no time left to pass a law postponing the elections.

Bayan Muna party-list Rep. Neri Colmenares earlier said the incumbent barangay officials were elected with a three-year term and it could not be longer.

"If we postpone the elections this year, we are extending their term, which is not representative of the will of the people but of Congress," he said.

Akbayan party-list Rep. Walden Bello said the election is "crucial for sustaining the momentum of political reform" that was started with the May presidential polls.

"I’m worried that if we postpone (elections), we risk going into an economic downturn. We don’t want to endanger our economic recovery," he said.

Minority leader Edcel Lagman questioned the meeting of some members of the majority party with President Benigno Aquino III on Tuesday.

Lagman said a representative of the minority party should be present in the meetings discussing the legislative agenda, but no one bothered to invite them.

"Apparently, the leadership of the committee is prepared to kill this bill. We are virtually having a wake over the bills and we are just preparing the funeral," Lagman said during the briefing.

Lagman is one of the more than 30 congressmen seeking for the postponement of the polls.

Other lawmakers who have filed similar measures are Representatives Danilo Suarez (third district, Quezon), Rufus Rodriguez (second district, Cagayan de Oro City), Gabriel Quisumbing (sixth district, Cebu), Eduardo Gullas (first district, Cebu), and Manny Pacquiao (lone district, Sarangani).

Barzaga said the meeting with President Aquino and some senators was proposed by the House leadership to avoid having a bad impression on the people if the legislative and executive branches would disagree on the matter.

In a press briefing in Malacanang, the President admitted on Wednesday that he personally appealed to both chambers of Congress to push through with the October elections.

He said he explained before his allies in Congress the importance of the renewal of mandate in local governance.

“These officials are the primary instrumentality in carrying out any and all programs of the state,” he said.

He said without the renewed mandate, the support of the populace essential in attaining success of the government’s objective will be severely put to test.

The President earlier proposed to push through with the polls and synchronized it with the next national elections in 2013.

The Commission on Elections assured that poll preparations are continuing to ensure a successful village and youth elections on October.

“We have been preparing for the elections in October and now with the House shelving the proposals to postpone the elections, we will now go into high gear in our preparations to ensure honest, orderly, peaceful elections,” Commissioner Gregorio Larrazabal said.

The poll body earlier stated that it welcomes the suggestions of lawmakers seeking the postponement, but it should be held next year. (Kathrina Alvarez/Jill Beltran/Sunnex)